Acousto-ultrasonic (AU) interrogation is a single-sided nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technique employing separated sending and receiving transducers. It is used for assessing the microstructural condition and distributed damage state of the material between the transducers. AU is complementary to more traditional NDE methods, such as ultrasonic cscan, x-ray radiography, and thermographic inspection, which tend to be used primarily for discrete flaw detection. Throughout its history, AU has been used to inspect polymer matrix composites, metal matrix composites, ceramic matrix composites, and even monolithic metallic materials. The development of a high-performance automated AU scan system for characterizing within-sample microstructural and property homogeneity is currently in a prototype stage at NASA. This year, essential AU technology was reviewed. In addition, the basic hardware and software configuration for the scanner was developed, and preliminary results with the system were described. Mechanical and environmental loads applied to composite materials can cause distributed damage (as well as discrete defects) that plays a significant role in the degradation of physical properties. Such damage includes fiber/matrix debonding (interface failure), matrix microcracking, and fiber fracture and buckling. Investigations at the NASA Glenn Research Center have shown that traditional NDE scan inspection methods such as ultrasonic c-scan, x-ray imaging, and thermographic imaging tend to be more suited to discrete defect detection rather than the characterization of accumulated distributed micro-damage in composites. Since AU is focused on assessing the distributed micro-damage state of the material in between the sending and receiving transducers, it has proven to be quite suitable for assessing the relative composite material state. One major success story at Glenn with AU measurements has been the correlation between the ultrasonic decay rate obtained during AU inspection and the mechanical modulus (stiffness) seen during fatigue experiments with silicon carbide/silicon carbide (SiC/SiC) ceramic matrix composite samples. As shown in the figure, ultrasonic decay increased as the modulus decreased for the ceramic matrix composite tensile fatigue samples. The likely microstructural reason for the decrease in modulus (and increase in ultrasonic decay) is the matrix microcracking that commonly occurs during fatigue testing of these materials. Ultrasonic decay has shown the capability to track the pattern of transverse cracking and fiber breakage in these composites.